Geordie Ochterloney built Home Grown Organic Foods from the ground up 14 years ago. The local, organic food delivery business got its earliest beginnings in a one-bedroom apartment on Hollis Street, from which he'd walk to the farmers' market to pick up and borrow friends' cars for drop-offs. Eventually, Home Grown found more suitable digs for its general store tucked away on the mainly residential Allan Street. This winter, it moved into a new home---one that Ouchterlony's been re-building from the ground up for two years.
In 2010, thanks to a little bit of luck he purchased the due-for-demolition 2310 Gottingen Street, a century-and-a-half old building and the former home of Liswell's Bakery. And since then he maintainted his business out of Allan Street all the while completely gutting, updating and re-imagining the new Gottingen space.
"To have ownership and equity, that's a key piece," says Ouchterlony. "That's what compels us to do this, to spend these long hours doing all this hard work, to make this place come to life. There's a light at the end of the tunnel---it's more gratifying."
The new Home Grown practically oozes potential, with a more efficient, foot traffic-friendly layout than Allan Street that will operate as a grocery shop offering fresh local produce, dairy, baked goods and more, plus grab-and-go snacks and coffee. The food delivery model will remain exactly the same, while the retail component will be kicked up a notch. "It's such a beautiful marriage to have a food store and a home delivery service together. There's a zero waste component to Geordie's business model already," says Ouchterlony's partner Jamie Lynn Chediac. "There's a lot of food waste because people don't buy produce--- if you have a home delivery service you're able to manage your flow."
With a blooming community like Gottingen Street to build off of, Ouchterlony's plans for the business don't end after the move. "Most important is developing the retail and escalating the presence," he says, but plans for a rooftop garden for fresh herbs and wheatgrass, a solar dehydrator, a cob oven and some major composting are tucked away for the future. And then there's opportunity to collaborate with nearby community groups. "It's just unlimited," says Ouchterlony. Though he's spent over a decade blazing a trail for local food delivery, he finally has a place to put down some roots. "It's home for Home Grown," says Chediac. "And that's been a long time coming."